What is a Torque Converter?

I was told I needed to replace the torque converter because of a transmission problem I am having. How do I know if that is the case and where is this part, I don’t see it listed in my owner’s manual anywhere? Help!

Hi there Helen,

Usually when there is a problem with the torque converter of an automatic transmission it is time for a complete transmission overhaul. I am not sure what exact problem you are having with your vehicle, but to get access to the torque converter the transmission will have to be removed from the vehicle…which is very labor intensive and costly.

Depending on how many miles you have on this transmission it would probably be advisable and cost effective to go ahead and overhaul the transmission since you have it out of the vehicle anyway.

A vibration or “shutter” that is felt inside the vehicle when the transmission shifts gears is a common complaint of a bad torque converter.

Here are a few pictures of a transmission and the torque converter so you can see what I mean.

Andi birthday 030

Transmission out of the vehicle with torque converter removed


Andi birthday 029

Torque converter on the left – transmission on the right

Andi birthday 031

Torque converter by itself with the flywheel attached where my finger is


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."